Sloth + Pride
While Bethlehem Shoals whittled away in West Texas over the past few days, the rest of us did little to pick up the slack for him. Some of us have legitimate excuses, like the four of us who traveled overseas to attend the grueling Andrea Bargnani pre-draft workouts/psychological tests. Others, like myself, well I'm just damn busy. I haven't eaten a decent meal in weeks and caught all too little of the second round. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna take the time, on behalf of all Timberwolves fans from Cloquet to Mapleton, to tell you when I'm right . On some T-Mac premature shit, you say? Perhaps, but right now, I'm sticking with what I said in November:
But there is one thing, one overlooked element that should be the hallmark of Larry Brown's career. One thing that LB is capable of doing that not Flip or any other coach has done before: He knows how to stop teams who have Shaq. Larry is Kryptonite. (Note that Popovich doesn't count here because he was playing with TWO hall of fame centers in 03, and weren't both Shaq and Kobe a bit injured or something? Weren't they?). LB's 2001 Game 1 Finals victory over the Lakers may have been his greatest achievement ever. That Sixers team sucked and everyone knew it. Then, in 04, The Pistons shoved it down the Lakers' throats, with steady Shaq-harrassment coming from Elden Campbell, Big Ben, Sheed, and even Big Nasty. And last year, even with Shaq promising South Beach a championship and hungrier than ever, LB had Diesel looking like Shazaam
This may ultimately be the reason that the Pistons will miss both Brown, and the Finals. Flip and so many other coaches fail in these monumental tasks, because unlike Larry, they are followers and not leaders. During the Wolves/Lakers WCF series in 04, Flip pulled out some gawd-awful Mike Dunleavy-circa-Brian Grant on the Blazers shit and made Shaq go to the free throw line 30 times a game. Shaq hit them when they counted, Kobe, Kareem Rush, and Devean George got involved, and the Lakers won handily. Larry defied convention, and instead learned how to annoy the hell out of Shaq, still let him get HIS, but annoy him to death...
Editors note: Forgot to mention that LB also coached and won the famous 1995 Indiana/Orlando Rik Smits "swish" game against Shaq & co. Trust me, Shaq wants NO PART of LB.